2. Another reason not to rely on them is because more and more companies are weaning themselves from them. For example, Southwest Airlines never paid to be listed with them. Recently, American Airlines and Delta Airlines have severed some of their relationships.
3. Also, using a “meta-search” service or online travel aggregator (OTA), such as www.mobissimo.com and www.hipmunk.com will usually score a better deal. Metasearch engines or OTAs, search numerous independent search engines to find best options.
4. Sometimes it is best to go straight to the source. Call or go to an airline or hotel website. If calling, do not use a toll free central reservation number except to get location information. Dealing directly with the property guarantees a lower rate of at least ten percent. Another tip is to find the best price online and then call the property directly and see if management can do better. If there are available rooms, they will negotiate.
A little research and effort will yield much better results than merely bookmarking popular discount travel sites. Start with the aforementioned resources and also check out general travel planning and advice sites, such as www.tripadvisor.com. This information compiled from The Encyclopedia of Cheap Travel by author Terrance Zepke (available on www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com)